Belgian Igor Decraene was set to defend world title in a few weeks' time

Belgian junior time trial world champion Igor Decraene has died aged 18.

Decraene won the rainbow jersey in Florence last September, and was training with the Belgian team as he set out to defend the title in a few weeks’ time in Ponferrada, Spain.

He had been signed to Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s development team.

The circumstances leading to his death are not as yet clear, although Belgian media reported that he took his own life.

“This is a terribly sad news,” said Union Cycliste Internationale president Brian Cookson in a statement. “Igor was a very promising rider. Our thoughts are with his parents, brothers, family and friends”.

Igor Decraeyne in the mens Junior TT World Championship 2013

Igor Decraene in the mens Junior TT World Championship 2013